Canelo agrees to NAC suspension for drug test failure

April 18, 2018

At Wednesday’s Nevada Athletic Commission disciplinary hearing, Canelo Alvarez entered into an Adjudication Agreement agreeing to a six month suspension of his boxing license for failing two drug tests with the presence of the banned substance Clenbuterol.

MMA Payout has obtained a copy of the Adjudication Agreement from the NAC via public records request:

Saul Alvarez – Adjudication Agreement – Signed by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

The six-month suspension seems fair considering Alvarez denies wrongdoing but decided not to defend his claims.  The suspension, convenient or not, allows Alvarez to return to the ring in September right around the time of Mexican Independence Day weekend – a traditional boxing PPV date.  The Agreement includes a paragraph citing that Alvarez denies intentionally taking Clenbuterol and another indicating he believes the cause was due to contaminated meat.  Regardless, this gives Alvarez the spring off to get ready for September.  Will there still be bad blood between Alvarez and the commission if/when he’s allowed to concern?  Or, will Golden Boy put it past them when their fighter comes back (and decides the venue of the event) considering the amount of money they’ll make when Canelo finally gets in the ring with GGG.

Canelo withdraws from May 5th rematch with GGG

April 3, 2018

Golden Boy Promotions announced today that Canelo Alvarez has withdrawn from the fight against Gennady Golovkin.  Alvarez was temporarily suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission due to failing a pair of drug tests for the banned substance clenbuterol.

An April 18th hearing was schedule to determine the fate of the rematch between Alvarez and GGG.  The NAC sought to suspend Alvarez for 1 year due to the failed tests.

Alvarez and his promoters made the withdrawal official via conference call with the media on Tuesday.  Alvarez maintained his innocence that he is a clean fighter that does not use PEDs.

Their first fight drew $27 million in live-gate earnings and an estimated 1.3 million PPV buys.  Despite the belief that the NAC would not derail a rematch which drew so well this past September, the NAC took the test failures seriously.

Alvarez claims that the failed tests were due to tainted meat he consumed while training in Mexico.

GGG wants to fight on May 5th and a replacement for Alvarez is taking place.  The event on May 5th is likely to be moved from the T-Mobile Arena to the MGM Grand which is a smaller venue.

Alvarez’s one-year suspension with the NAC will date back to his first positive test on February 17.

Payout Perspective:

This is a shocking development and a blow for boxing fans as many had anticipated this rematch.  Withdrawing from the fight is interesting as it ensures that Canelo will not fight in Vegas until 2019.  We will see if this strains ties between Golden Boy and the NAC if/when Golden Boy decides to promote fights.  While Vegas is the de facto place for big fights, the commission’s stance to file an official Complaint against Alvarez may have the promotion look to New York or another venue for events.  HBO PPV is also a loser here as any replacement for Canelo will not draw as many buys as a the Canelo-GGG II PPV would have produced.

NAC files official complaint against Alvarez

April 1, 2018

ESPN’s Dan Rafael has obtained a copy of the Nevada Athletic Commission Complaint against Canelo Alvarez.  The 8-page Complaint outlines the violations stemming from two failed drug tests for the banned substance Clenbuterol.

Alvarez claims that the findings in his drug tests are a result of tainted meat he likely consumed while training for his May 5th fight in Mexico.  In the past, fighters in boxing and the UFC have been cleared of anti-doping violations due to tainted meat.  Still, the issue is being taken seriously by the NAC which has scheduled a hearing on April 18th.  As a result of the proximity of the hearing to the May 5th rematch with Gennady Golovkin, the huge fight which promises to do as well business-wise and maybe better than last September’s event is in jeopardy.

According to the Complaint, Alvarez failed two urine tests administered by VADA on February 17 and 20th.  The urinalysis was examined by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory finding Clenbuterol in the samples.

Whether or not Alvarez intended to ingest the banned substance is of no significance according to the Complaint as it is the standard rule.  As a result, his license in Nevada has been temporarily suspended until the April 18th hearing.

Canelo Alvarez by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

It’s interesting that there seems to be no urgency in resolving this matter prior to the May 5th event.  With a lot financially at stake, one would think that the parties, including the Commission, would want to expedite the hearing process.  The hearing will be very important and one would think that Alvarez’s lawyers would need to prepare a strategy which would show that it was likely that tainted meat was the cause of the findings.  This might mean providing a daily nutritional regiment for Alvarez which might pinpoint the kind of things he ate which may have caused the findings.

April 10th NAC hearing to determine Canelo-GGG II after Alvarez temporarily suspended

March 23, 2018

ESPN reports Canelo Alvarez has been temporarily suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission after testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol.  A hearing on April 10th will determine the fate of the rematch between Canelo and Gennady Golovkin.

Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol in random urine tests conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association in Mexico on February 17th and February 20th.  Per commission regulations, the suspension was issued.  Alvarez claims that the positive tests were from eating contaminated beef due to a substance included in cattle feed because it helps reduce fat and increase lean muscle mass.  The substance is banned in the United States.

After the positive tests, the commission has required that Canelo take more tests as well as submit to questioning at the April 10th hearing.

The rematch with GGG set for May 5th is in jeopardy based on the commission findings next month.

Payout Perspective:

Cynically, we all feel that the commission will not step in the way of a fight that drew 1.3 million PPV buys and a gate of over $27 million.  If the commission granted Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor to change the size of their boxing gloves a couple weeks prior to the fight, I think your hotel reservations for Cinco de Mayo weekend are safe.  While the two positive tests may be of concern, I would think that Canelo and his camp will be able to devise a good explanation (backed by some evidence) regarding the positive tests.

Povetkin attorneys seek motion for new trial or judgment in its favor

March 14, 2017

Attorneys for World of Boxing and Alexander Povetkin have filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law and/or a new trial this past Friday.  The hearing is scheduled for April 21, 2017 before the trial court judge in New York.

A jury determined that Povetkin took the banned substance Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  It was the sole issue determined at trial.

World of Boxing and Povetkin attorneys intimated that they would be moving for either an appeal or this relief stating issues with the decision and conduct of Wilder’s attorneys.

Arnold & Porter Letter 02.12.17 by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Under Federal Civil Rule of Procedure 50, Judgment as a Matter of Law is a motion that can be made during trial or after.  Essentially, it requests the judge take the decision out of the hands of the jury citing that the other party has not proven its case, and as a matter of law, should rule in favor of the moving party.

Under Federal Civil Rule of Procedure 59, a Motion for New Trial, may be requested any time within 28 days after the jury verdict.  It may be granted if there was a serious erroneous result or a miscarriage of justice.

Payout Perspective:

The motion is long and outside the bounds of the page length for a motion and the attorneys have asked attorneys to file extra pages.  The attorneys for World of Boxing and Povetkin claim that the jury verdict was not based on the evidence, the testimony of one of Wilder’s experts should not have been relied upon, the timing of the trial did not allow for all the questions to be answered and the purported misconduct of Wilder’s attorney.

The motion goes before the trial court judge which makes it somewhat hard for the moving party because they are arguing that the judge did not oversee their trial properly and thus must do it again.  These motions would be quicker than an appeal although it would seem that they are exhausting all options.  MMA Payout will return later with a substantive look at the claims.

Jury rules in favor of Wilder, Povetkin took banned substance meldonium

February 13, 2017

A jury in New York took just 32 minutes to determine that boxer Alexander Povetkin took meldonium after the substance was banned on January 1, 2016 per ESPN.

The 9-person jury, which included a chemist, made the decision on Monday after a 3 day trial in which both boxers attended.

Despite the verdict, there might be an appeal.  A letter dated February 12, 2017 by World of Boxing’s attorneys cited “gross and extensive misconduct” during the trial.  The letter was filed prior to Monday’s jury verdict we presume.

If there is no appeal, it appears that Wilder and his promoter Lou DiBella will receive a portion of the money still in escrow.  Wilder was due $4.5 million to fight Povetkin while there was a $715,000 bonus for the winner.  The attorney for Wilder and DiBella believes that the judge will release the funds.

Payout Perspective:

While its early, one would have to expect a Motion for New Trial and/or an appeal from World of Boxing based on the letter from their attorneys.  Still, the basic theory of the case by Wilder was that there were 4 VADA drug tests in April.  The first 3 did not show any traces of meldonium but the fourth one did.  Thus, he must have taken the banned substance after the third test.  World of Boxing argues that despite the negative tests, Povetkin had meldonium in his system from 2015 and it just was not picked up by the tests.

We will now see how much more legal fees World of Boxing will want to invest in this case.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Attorneys battle over experts in Povetkin-Wilder case

February 10, 2017

This week Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin went to trial to determine whose fault it was that cancelled their fight in Russia this past May.

The sole issue to be decided at trial is whether Povetkin took Meldonium after January 1, 2016, the date that it was banned by WADA.

The trial is a battle of the experts with each side arguing about the admissibility of testimony and evidence.  The science of determining Meldonium in the system is key.  Povetkin admits to taking Meldonium in 2015 as prescribed by a physician.  However, he denies taking it after 2016.  WADA banned the substance on January 1, 2016.

Four VADA tests by Povetkin leading up to their anticipated fight in April 2017 occurred.  Povetkin’s VADA tests on April 7, 8 and 11, 2017 came up negative.  However, an April 27, 2017 test showed Meldonium.  World of Boxing claims that the Meldonium are traces from his 2015 use.

Trial began this past Monday.

Per a pretrial order dated January 31, 2017, the parties included specifics related to trial including experts.  The experts were to have submitted reports, the basis of their testimony, prior to the start of trial.  The Wilder legal team retained Anthony Butch, Ph.D. to testify about the testing of banned substances and the result of Povetkin’s tests as it relates to detection of Meldonium.  Essentially, Povetkin’s test results reveal he took Meldonium some time between April 11 and his last VADA test of April 27, 2016.  They also named Daniel Eichner, Ph.D. as a possible expert to testify regarding the positive test results.  He was added after World of Boxing added Dr. Douwe de Boer.

The World of Boxing team included several experts regarding the detection of Meldonium with the conclusion that Povetkin did not take the drug post-January 1, 2016.  This included Dr. Boris Simkhovich and Dr. de Boer.  Notably, Dr. de Boer was a late addition to the expert list and submitted a report which Wilder’s attorneys opposed.

On Thursday night, attorneys for Deontay Wilder requested to call Dr. Anthony Butch as a “very brief rebuttal witness” as it relates to World of Boxing’s expert, Dr. de Boer.  The claim to use Dr. Butch is that Dr. de Boer disclosed an “entirely new theory of the case” during his trial testimony.  Additionally, Wilder’s attorneys wanted to call Dr. Boris Simkhovich as a rebuttal witness.  However, Dr. Simkohovich was a designated expert of World of Boxing but was not called by the World of Boxing when they put on its case.

The new revelation addresses, according to Wilder’s attorneys, the reasons why Povetkin’s April 7, 8 and 11, 2016 urine samples had no detection of Meldonium but there was detection of Meldonium in his April 27, 2016 test: ion suppression.

Dr. de Boer was a late add as an expert by Wilder’s legal team.  The presiding magistrate, Judge Gabriel Gorenstein allowed Dr. de Boer to testify however he would have to submit to a deposition prior to trial as well as having an expert rebut the report.

The testimony from Dr. de Boer suggests due to ion suppression, Meldonium was not detected in the first three tests of April because the method of analyzing (mass spectrometer) did not pick up the Meldonium due to a competing molecule suppressing the Meldonium molecules.  But, the April 27th test contained residual Meldonium which it was able to pick up.

The claim is that Dr. de Boer’s theory is based on the late production of Dr. Butch’s raw data.  Despite submitting to a deposition, Dr. de Boer was precluded from answering questions about the report at his deposition per instruction from the Magistrate as the two sides butted heads over the issue.

They also wanted to call Dr. Simkhovich as a witness as Wilder’s side believed that his testimony was contrary to that of Dr. de Boer’s testimony which would seemingly show a flaw in World of Boxing’s case.

Attorneys for World of Boxing argue that Wilder’s problems are his own as the Court gave Wilder an option of deposing Dr. de Boer on Feb 1 or 2 or postpone the trial.  Wilder opted to go to trial and depose Dr. de Boer.  They also argue that Dr. de Boer’s report and data were provided to Wilder’s side prior to the deposition and they could have asked questions about it.  They also argue that Dr. Simkhovich cannot be used as a witness as he was not called by World of Boxing and would be inadmissible.

Payout Perspective:

The legal fights over inclusion of expert testimony occurs a lot and certainly each side wants to preserve their right to an appeal if needed.  The credibility of the experts will be key and the efforts to rebut testimony is a way for the legal teams to get the last say before a jury.

Povetkin attorneys submit rebuttal report explaining VADA tests

February 6, 2017

World of Boxing has submitted a rebuttal expert to address the additional “raw data” supplied by the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory.

The report is from Biochemist Dr. Douwe de Boer. Dr. de Boer reviewed the information including the rebuttal expert report from Wilder’s expert. Importantly, it includes review of Povetkin’s VADA urine drug tests from April 8,9, 10 and 27th.

The sole issue at trial is whether Alexander Povetkin took Meldonium post-January 1, 2016.  Wilder claims he did.  Povetkin argues that the finding of Meldonium occurred in 2015 prior to the WADA ban.

The anticipated theory of the case is that the negative drug tests of April 8-10 and the positive drug test of April 27th for Meldonium show that Povetkin took the drug after his April 10 test.

However, Dr. de Boer concludes that “the so-called “negative” results for Meldonium in some of the urine samples collected does not mean that no Meldonium is present.” He asserts that a possible concentration was “sometimes below” the limit to detect it. He claims that some of the samples were “not negative,” but merely “not adverse.” He concludes that based on the low values “of a logical pharmacokinetic profile, its unlikely Povetkin took Meldonium post-April 11.

Expert Findings on Behalf of Povetkin by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

So, it will be a battle of experts at trial. Dr. de Boer suggests that Povetkin had Meldonium in his system from his physician prescribed use prior to the WADA ban. But, the tests that revealed it to be negative actually had Meldonium in them. Thus, Povetkin’s expert argues that there would be no inconsistency in the tests as the Meldonium that showed up in the April 27 test was not new. We should see how this theory plays out this week.

Wilder claims non-produced email key to case

February 4, 2017

Meldonium is the key issue when attorneys for boxer Deontay Wilder and his promoter Lou DiBella square off against Alexander Povetkin and his promoter World of Boxing. In the latest filings, Wilder’s attorneys claim that Povetkin’s side withheld a damaging email it sent to VADA regarding Povetkin’s testing.

Now, Wilder’s attorneys are seeking to introduce the evidence to reveal that in production of documents an email was withheld.

The crux of the issue that will go to trial next week is whether Alexander Povetkin took Meldonium after the official WADA ban on the substance January 1, 2016. Wilder’s attorneys claim Povetkin took the banned substance after January 1 thus the reason the heavyweight pulled out of an anticipated fight in Russian in May 2016. Povetkin’s claim is that he took the drug prior to January 1, 2016 as prescribed by his physician and prior to the ban. They plan to introduce evidence and testimony that Meldonium can take time to leave the system.

One of the big issues will be a series of VADA drug tests on Povetkin. Tests in April 2016 reveal Povetkin had negative tests from April 7, 8 and 11 but a latter test on April 27 detected Meldonium.

Wilder’s attorney provided the court with a supplemental expert report which analyzed raw data from the tests. Povetkin’s attorneys are fighting to include a rebuttal expert report which suggests that the raw data analyzed shows that Povetkin may have had Meldonium in his system during the April 7, 8 and 11 tests.

The anticipated working theory is that Wilder will argue that the negative tests in early April plus the April 27 test show that Povetkin took the drug post April 11, 2016.

Povetkin rebuts this theory with the argument that the negative tests actually show the possibility that the fighter had Meldonium in his system at the time.

Perhaps damaging the Povetkin side is the withheld email which is purportedly from a representative of the World of Boxing, Dmitry Ivanov, to VADA’s Margaret Goodman which reads:

I would like to discuss with you about tests. In Spain it were t[h]ree times tests. It is too much. ***Recently I wrote about our best time table for.
Cause you know it will be very important fight in our career and we need have the best preparation and limit tests in order not to negative result.
We are really can’t have a tests every other days.

Hope you understand me in this issue. * * * Help to us make preparation in the good regime. * * *

p.s. I am sorry about my English. Hope you understand me right.

 

Wilder’s attorney claim that this email shows that World of Boxing is trying to conceal something by requesting that Povetkin’s drug tests are limited.

Povetkin’s attorneys have yet to respond.

Payout Perspective:

If there is such thing as a hot document, Wilder believes that this is one that fits its theory of the case “like a glove” as it wrote to the court on Thursday of last week.  It’s likely we’ll see the introduction of more dueling expert reports and rebuttals.  How much will the court allow before the trial starts will be up to the court.

 

Povetkin asks court for rebuttal expert in Meldonium testing dispute

February 2, 2017

As trial in the Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin is ready to go next week, the attorneys for each side are fighting over expert data.

The sole issue to be determined at trial is whether Povetkin ingested Meldonium after January 1, 2016.  Povetkin took Meldonium as recommended by his physician in August and September 2015 prior to its ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).  Meldonium remains in the system for many months after its use.  WADA provided a notice on June 30, 2016 regarding Meldonium’s inclusion on the Prohibited List and excretion studies related to when the substance would leave the system.

The law firm of Arnold & Porter, the attorneys for Povetkin and his promoter World of Boxing are requesting the court to submit a rebuttal expert in light of a supplemental report provided by Wilder.  Arnold & Porter claim that Wilder’s attorneys, Judd & Burstein, provided additional biological data from the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory concerning Povetkin’s test results.  The supplemental expert report included information from the data.  The discovery deadline was in December so the parties are at an impasse regarding the inclusion of the information in evidence.  Of course, Wilder’s attorneys would object to the inclusion of the new expert from Povetkin at this time since they did not have time to depose the expert on their opinion.

In all likelihood, the court will grant the new expert and a report, if any, but grant Wilder’s attorneys to depose him prior to his in court testimony.

Arnold Porter Letter 01.25.17 by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

From Povetkin attorney’s standpoint, they claim that Wilder’s side will present evidence that Povetkin took Meldonium after the April 11th VADA test (urine collection) but before the April 27 VADA test.   The evidence, Arnold & Porter suggests, are negative tests for Meldonium on April 7, 8 and 11 but an April 27 test that yielded a positive result.  But, Povetkin’s attorneys argue that the newly provided data and supplemental expert report show that “Meldonium had washed out by April 11.”  Essentially, the argument is that the “raw data” may show trace amounts of Meldonium in the previous tests thought to be negative.

Supplemental Expert Report – Wilder by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

WADA Notice re Meldonium by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

To break this argument down, Povetkin’s attorney want to explain the reasons for the “raw data” and supplemental expert report.  Thus, they want to have their own expert to render an opinion on the results and Wilder’s expert report.  One would assume that they would claim that the data suggests that one cannot conclude that Povetkin took Meldonium after January 1, 2016 despite the “negative tests.”

MMA Payout will continue to follow.

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